IOM TT 2018: Michael Dunlop wins the first Supersport Island race of the year – and says he could do a 130mph lap on the 600!


 

Michael Dunlop has smashed the Isle of Man TT lap record and romped to a huge win in the first Supersport TT race of 2018, destroying the competition with a 10 second advantage over the line. It’s the 17th TT win for Dunlop.

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Dunlop set off behind arch-rival and outright lap record holder in the Superbike class, Dean Harrison and made the ten second gap up by the end of the second lap with a flying 37.75 miles, racking up a new Supersport record of 129.197mph (17m 31.328s) in the process. He eventually beat Harrison over the line by 10.278s.

Dean Harrison, sporting as ever, pulled over and let a close-quarters Dunlop past to the line, letting the Honda man punch the air in jubilation but doing so nearly allowed Peter Hickman to nib past on the timesheets for second – just 0.258s split Harrison and Hickman across the line.

It’s the second win of the week so far for Dunlop who romped to a win in Saturday’s Superbike TT race after leader Harrison was forced to retire on the final lap with clutch problems.

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Dunlop, who’s result was his 40th TT podium and astonishing 27th podium, said: “That’s more like it, 17 wins. On my own bike. This was a good race, I got settled in and it worked. Saturday’s race I struggled to get settled in to that but this one was a bit better.

“Genuinely think I can do a 130mph lap on the 600! We hadn’t got a pile of time on the bike so far so I think we can definitely make it better!

“The bike went well – the 600 hasn’t got much running all week so you go into it just sort of going for it you now. It’s not easy squeezing into the bike, I’m so wide so it was tough just getting into the bike for the race.

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“The times were quick for a 600. Dean’s pushing me and that’s where the time’s coming from. Everybody is on good bikes now and everyone is upping their game.

“We had a couple of things to change this week and changing the wheel in the pitstop worked well. I came out of the pits and and could sit behind Dean and once I was there, watching him – and Dean was riding lovely – I could ride around in position. I was happy.”

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Harrison said: “I got a good start, first board was P1 and I got a bit of traffic and was a bit hesitant in getting past. I saw Michael was catching but I knew what was going, I had a 20 second lead over Peter and James Hillier who were fighting for third. So I sat there happy.

“We ran a brand new engine for this race that I’d not run on before so I’m well happy. I never though I would have the pace on a 600, but I got my head down and managed to reel people in.

“I’m really pumped ready for the Superstock race now and I’ll throw everything into it and hopefully get the result there.

Hickman added: “We’ve had a few problems this week and last week with the Triumph, a few problems but it’s working well now. I was happy with how it was running. I managed to pull a gap on James Hillier and thought I’d be alright.

“I cam into the pits and forgot which button was my pitlane limiter so had to guess which it was and by the time I found it I was already halfway down pitlane! When I came out of the pits James Hillier and I were level so I had to get my head down and pull away.

“There was an accident on the Mountain on the last lap and I had to roll off just before Verandah, and went through it in second or third gear instead of fifth. When I came out of the Bungalow I was level with James again but managed to get away.

“After Saturday’s disappointment it was good to get a podium now. I’m quite happy with that though, not bad for a big lad on a little bike!”

 

 

Result Supersport race 1, TT 2018:

1: Michael Dunlop  Race average: 125.734mph   Total race time: 1hr 11m 51.072s

2: Dean Harrison  + 10.278

3: Peter Hickman  + 0.258

 

 

 

 

 

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